This Week at Liberty – May 12, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

I know that I have harped on this before and those of you who read and heed the blog can close your eyes, but better yet you can shout the message out to everyone you know including home owners associations, corporations and businesses, shopping centers and anyone else with trees that they care for.  Here’s the mantra:  “Don’t trim your trees in the spring and summer!”  Plain and simple….no ifs, ands, or buts….just don’t do it.

As if the winds (which we have no control over) weren’t enough, we have recently had many babies trimmed carelessly out of their trees.  Mom and Dad have gone out to gather food or have been driven from the nest by the roar of a saw only to watch or find their homes and babies plummeting to the ground.  And, to add insult to injury no effort is made to correct the “mistake”!  What is the matter with people?  Can you really just walk away and leave a helpless baby to die from heat, starvation or a broken back?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And, if kindness and compassion isn’t enough, let’s talk about the law.  It is illegal to disturb the nests of native migratory birds….plain and simple….do not disturb them.  If the tree is threatening to fall on your car, your neighbor’s house or your own, you can probably get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…but don’t forget that little detail.  Here’s an excerpt from the Migratory Bird Act….just in case you need some ammo.

703. Taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds unlawful.

“…it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any

manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take,

capture, or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to barter, offer

to purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import, cause to

be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation,

transport or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be

carried, or receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or

export, any migratory bird, any part, nest, or eggs of any such

bird, or any product, whether or not manufactured, which

consists, or is composed in whole or part, of any such bird or

any part, nest, or egg thereof…”

Plan your trimming for the fall.  For further motivation remember that lusher trees provide shade in the heat of the summer.  Fall trimming is healthier for the tree.  A healthy bird population negates the need for harsh pesticides as they thrive on the insect population and that only increases when they are feeding babies…pest control the natural way.

Spread the word.  For a healthy environment birds’ help is needed.

For a healthy bird population your help is needed!

This Week at Liberty

The intake total is now at 1634.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

Hopefully, all of the mothers on our list had a great Mother’s Day, and since we’re in the midst of Baby Bird Season and the foster program is going strong, this posting will rely heavily on the “motherhood” aspect of this time of year.  The treatment of the baby eagle takes a major turn, and a couple of “interesting” patients arrive. There were some great educational programs produced around the state which I’ll cover in more detail next week. (This is one of the few times during the year that I wound up with more photos than I could use in  one post!)

Orphan Care volunteer enjoys her work

Orphan Care volunteer Mandy enjoys her work

Joanie marks some eggs

Joanie marks some eggs

The intake of baby birds remains strong.  Fortunately, we have a great team of dedicated Orphan Care volunteers who spend their shifts feeding and caring for the ever growing number of tiny mouths (er…beaks?) that now line the walls of the OC area. Every once in a while, someone will bring in some eggs that they found and these are marked for identification before they are placed in an incubator. It’s never too early for Liberty Wildlife care!


Joanie encourages another baby GHO

Joanie encourages another baby GHO

Teddy bear tufts

Teddy bear tufts

Dr.Wyman gives a final check

Dr.Wyman gives a final check

Am I almost done?

“Am I almost done?”

As usual, April saw a huge intake of orphan baby great horned owls. Lots come from windstorms, but far too many are the victims of inappropriate (or at best, untimely) tree trimming. I could probably fill each week’s update for the next few months with nothing but baby GHO pictures, but I won’t – probably. Each orphan is assessed, checked for any injuries, given fluids, weighed, and finally placed with one of our foster parent pairs. Each baby is cuter than the last…

Igor is a proud foster daddy

Igor is a proud foster daddy


The "Tombstone" family grows

The “Tombstone” family grows

We are again lucky to have two pairs of faster parent GHOs that are eager to perform the duties required of them. Igor and Elvira are in the frontmost enclosure, with Wyatt and Earp (the Tombstone clan) occupying the enclosure in the back.  Both groups are growing and their efforts are supplemented by Hedwig and Maggie who each are brooding their own small clutches.


Sharon feeds the baby RTH

Sharon feeds the baby RTH

The little Raccoons now have their masks and striped tails!

The little Raccoons now have their masks and striped tails!

Babies continue to grow.  Our own version of “‘Coon and Friends” (for you South Park fans…)is going strong as the babies are now sporting their  grown-up colors – secret identity masks and stripy tails. The baby red tail is browning like a weed and will soon be ready for the next step in his adventure. And as we go to press with this update, it seems the little bald eagle that was with us and got released is back.  It seems he has more issues than just being skinny. More on this story as it develops…


Our state bird...

Our state bird…

Now for some rehydration

Now for some rehydration

Yet another cats wren is now in our care, having been the victim of a really big glue trap. This one was even bated with peanut butter!  Luckily, the little bird (our state bird, no less) was found before he sustained more injury in his efforts to escape the sticky snare. I’m gonna say this one more time – DO NOT USE GLUE TRAPS!!!! They are not species specific in their targeting and usually wind up catching and cruelly killing many more unintended victims than the critters they were meant for.


Baby eagle presents a fractured humerus

Baby eagle presents a fractured humerus

Pin from Dr.Driggers

Pin from Dr.Driggers

The baby bald eagle that we were working with was not doing well so he was taken to Dr. Driggers for surgery on his broken wing last week. Dr. D had to remove about an inch of bone and then installed a pin to maintain alignment in the bird’s humerus. Upon his return to Liberty, the little guy(?) began eating and for the first time, kept his food down! Now he is perking up remarkably and is sitting in Libby’s enclosure to expose her to an adult bald eagle. If he can compensate for the shorter wing, release is still on the table!


Steel tube sparrow

Steel tube sparrow

A little push and ...PRESTO!

A little push and …PRESTO!

Just after the cactus wren (above) came in, a gentleman who had a piece of thick walled steel tubing in the back of his pickup truck found this little sparrow wedged into it. Not knowing what to do, he thoughtfully brought the tube-0-bird to Liberty’s intake window and with a little push, out he popped!  Reminded me of those old push-up type popsicles when I was a kid. Now when was that…?


Donna J and Reo

Donna J and Reo

Again, as we went to press, I learned that Donna Jabara, one of our very best veteran Education volunteers, was injured in the line of Liberty duty last week.  She fell while preparing for a program and seriously injured her shoulder.  She’s due for surgery this week and from what we’ve heard, if the pins and screws don’t work, she’ll be getting a bionic replacement! Sounds like a couple of golden eagles we’ve had in. (I wonder if I can get the X-rays for the blog…?!)

RECOVER QUICKLY AND HURRY BACK DONNA!  You will be sorely missed!!








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9 Responses to This Week at Liberty – May 12, 2014

  1. Gail says:

    Best wishes to Donna and all the rehabbing patients. Hopefully the wind will stop soon! I’m telling all I know about timely tree trimming!

  2. Pam Kohnken says:

    It would be great if we could encourage people to keep their cats indoors–especially during baby “everything” season. It’s safer for the birds and coyotes can be a danger to outdoor cats.

  3. Donna Jabara says:

    Many thanks to all my Liberty family for your help & good thoughts for recovery. Hope my ‘bum wing rehab’ is fast! I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on & friends to see.

    • tstevens says:

      Donna, if your doctors have any trouble, I’m sure Dr. Orr and Dr. Driggers can fix you up just fine! They have a lot of experience with pinning broken wings and shoulders…

    • Karen Boswell says:

      Get well soon Donna! We will miss you! Heal quickly so we can see your smiling face back at Liberty, Love Karen

  4. Ria Moll says:

    I’m sending this update to my homeowners assoc. that constantly trim the palm trees by the pool. They don’t seem to understand despite my frequent attempts to educate them. I am not a popular person around here, oh well. It’s the birds that count.

  5. Art Smith says:

    Tree trimming….yes, there are laws. It’s also illegal to drive drunk, or talking on your cell or texting. How is that working out? Anyway, why not spend some time getting the word out to the people that do tree trimming for a living, including the professional arborists…….preaching to the choir does not help much I don’t think.

    Keep the good work going……Art

  6. Megan says:

    Yes, arborists who actually trim trees are probably more responsible. However, in every incident when we have contacted tree trimmers with brochures/handouts, and we have done this many times over the years, we have had no response. I think there is often a language issue involved. Many people hire tree trimmers with saving a penny in mind. We have posted brochures and flyers with information directed to tree trimmers and those who hire tree trimmers with what to do if they find babies, with suggestions for better times to trim, with numbers to call if they had questions….across the board it was an exercise in futility. Maybe someone out there can come up with another plan….we are certainly open to hearing what others are doing to improve the situation. Sometimes word of mouth can be a powerful method of spreading the word.

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